Pilot project BADGES: a badge for the Loon-expert

How do youngsters and adults learn to cope with life and work in today’s Europe? Education at school alone no longer suffices; there is an important role for on-the-job training, additional trainings and courses, adult education… These are all opportunities in the concept of ‘lifelong learning’ since there are in life many more places and situations beyond schools and workplace in which you learn, gain knowledge and develop skills. Next to professional competences, developing individual and social competences is also crucial for individuals and for society. Heritage and cultural settings offer the ideal learning environment to (further) develop knowledge, skills and attitudes; in one word ‘competences’.

A lot of museums and cultural heritage sites are rightly playing the education card nowadays. But most of the educational activities are solely focused on youngsters and school children and on gaining (historical) knowledge. The learning as such is also hardly ever ‘acknowledged’ en ‘validated’.

Therefore the BADGES project aims at involving adults in this process and giving heritage learning the place it deserves in ‘lifelong learning’. 1000 years country of Loon will be a pilot project. On November 6th Alden Biesen will organise a conference in which we want to demonstrate to museums and heritage sites what the badging project can mean to them.

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Learning happens everywhere

Project Badges has taken the next step towards implementation of Badges in the heritage sector during the second transnational meeting in Cagliari Sardinia. During this meeting the project team visited one of the great examples of informal learning in the heritage sector: the initiative “Monumenti Aperti”. It is the most important festival dedicated to the promotion of the Sardinian cultural heritage. The event is organized by Imago Mundi, partner in the project.

New Erasmus+ Project: Badges

Badges for non-formal learning in heritage & cultural settings

Initial (formal) education and training does not longer suffice for a learner in the rapidly changing society and work environment in present Europe. Additional training, continuous training, adult education, non-formal learning, informal learning, workplace learning … are all elements in the concept of Lifelong Learning as an answer to the needs for education and training in the world of today.

In non-formal learning contexts there is less ‘ground’ for input based validation since there is less control on the quality of this input and the context in which this input is offered. A person, on the other hand can be ‘able’ to do the right thing in the right context. Why not validating this ‘ability’, no matter in what context it is acquired? Time to focus on output based validation: learning outcomes and performed competences.

For a person there are many more places and circumstances in life – outside school and outside the workplace – to acquire and develop competences. The voluntary sector, the civil (social participation) sector and the cultural sector offer a wide span of opportunities to develop competences – other than work-related competences – that are valuable for personal and professional development.

Therefore a European consortium, coordinated by the LandKreis Kassel (DE), starts a new Erasmus+ project: BADGES for quality learning approaches and validation of non-formal learning in cultural/heritage contexts. The Badges project wants to install a standardised European validation and award system by issuing electronic badges based on quality learning approaches and validation of non-formal learning in cultural / heritage contexts.

The project will:

  • develop a methodological framework for creating the appropriate approach and conditions for competence based non-formal learning in cultural/heritage context
  • develop a methodology for defining appropriate cultural place based competences, linked to the place, to the functioning and mission of the site and fitting the needs and priorities of ET 2020
  • develop standards for culture related place based learning through learning path development for cultural & heritage sites
  • develop a standard approach to evidencing and validating the non-formal learning in cultural contexts
  • design a span of meaningful badges related to types of competences and acquisition levels
  • help create a ‘badging culture’ as part of an approach to personal and professional development and to employability


Transnational Kick-off meeting!

In November 2017, all partners united for a transnational meeting in Kassel (Germany). This was the perfect opportunity to getting to know all the partners and their project related experiences. During this meeting the partners talked about the report on learning valorisation in cultural experiences. After this, the BADGES Methodology and validation were discussed. On the second day, a interesting discussion on the instruments to develop for individual learning pathways in heritage contexts was main topic. To finalise the transnational meeting, the partners looked to the future: decisions on project management and dissemination were made.

Partners: Landkreis Kassel (DE), Landcommanderij Alden Biesen (BE), BUPNET Bildung und Project Netzwerk (DE), Instituto Politecnico de Leiria (PT), Trendhuis (BE), Malopolska Institute of Culture (PL), PLATO – Leiden Univ. (NL) and Associazione Culturale Imago Mundi Onlus (IT)